Diary

GM's Advertising on Conservative Talk Radio -- Purposeful?

I’m an avid listener of talk radio. And I was heartened last year when I heard Limbaugh say that GM was becoming a sponsor of his show.

“Great,” I thought. “I like seeing major advertisers buying into talk radio.” And my happiness grew when I learned that GM was also buying spots on Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham’s shows.

But all of this talk about a bailout of the auto industry has me wondering if perhaps — just perhaps — GM was being a bit strategic in its decision to purchase advertising on these shows. Is it cynical of me to wonder if perhaps they did so to quiet the likely criticism from the right for a bailout that would typically be ginned up by the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, & Co? It could just be my imagination, but I really haven’t heard much in the way of condemnation from these radio talkers about the possibility of a bailout. Not, anyway, when you compare it to some other notable public uprisings of conservatives — such as the immigration reform debate and the Harriet Miers nomination — that were led by talk radio.

But I’ve yet to find a conservative anywhere who supports the idea — particularly if it doesn’t come with some significant concessions from the UAW.

Somebody tell me that I’m being conspiratorial. Don’t get me wrong — I don’t think that the GM marketing department called up these hosts and said “Now, these ad buys are contingent on you shutting up about public policy relating to our industry.” And I don’t think any of these hosts would accept such a bargain.

But I think it’s natural for anybody to not bite the hand that feeds you. If Harriet Miers had been a big talk radio advertiser, perhaps she’d be sitting on the Supreme Court this very moment.